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Hospitals Limit Medical Bills For Aurora Theater Shooting Victims

By Annie-Rose Strasser  

"Hospitals Limit Medical Bills For Aurora Theater Shooting Victims"

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Katie Medley and her son, Hugo

Days before the birth of their first child, Caleb and Kate Medley went to a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, that turned into the horrible massacre. Katie made it out without any serious injury, but Caleb wasn’t so lucky. He took a bullet to the eye and is in a medically induced coma, expected to take years to recover. Neither have insurance.

On Tuesday, their son Hugo was born, adding some joy to the tragedy but also more expenses.

While Caleb’s family is still raising money for his care, uninsured victims of the shooting at other hospitals are seeing some relief. Three of the five hospitals where victims are being treated announced Thursday that they will be limiting or eliminating their hospital costs:

Children’s Hospital Colorado announced it would use donations and its charity care fund to cover the medical expenses of the uninsured. For those who do have insurance, the hospital says it will waive all co-pays. [...]

HealthOne, which owns the Medical Center of Aurora and Swedish Medical Center, also says it will limit or eliminate charges based on the individual circumstances of the patients. Those hospitals have treated 22 shooting victims. However, the company cautioned its policy may not apply to all doctors working in its hospitals.

Denver Health Medical Center and University of Colorado Hospital, where Caleb and other victims are being treated, haven’t said what they’ll do, but the hospitals are Colorado’s top safety net hospitals in a state where 14 percent of residents are uninsured.

“We’re going to do everything that we can for these patients on a case by case basis,” said a representative of the Colorado hospital where Caleb is being treated. “The University Colorado Hospital provides $300 million in uncompensated care every year.”

Money donated from concerned citizens and the studio that released the movie The Dark Knight Rises has already totaled $2 million, the AP reported today. But that’s a drop in the bucket for victims who will leave the hospital with lifelong injuries and special needs.

Indeed, Caleb’s medical bills alone could add up to $2 million. So far, the family has raised one-quarter of the amount.

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